Metabolic Syndrome Interventions

Metabolic syndrome is a condition that affects up to 25 percent of the U.S. population, according to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. Individuals affected by this condition are at greater risk for developing heart disease. Treatment interventions are designed to reduce the risk factors that contribute to this syndrome.

  1. Metabolic Syndrome

    • Metabolic syndrome disorder is a condition in which multiple metabolic imbalances are present in the body. These imbalances combined work to impair the body's overall biochemical balance and place individuals at a greater risk for developing heart disease. Certain pre-existing disorders such as obesity, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and insulin resistance are conditions in which metabolic imbalances are present. The more risk factors a person has the greater the chance of developing heart disease.

    Risk Factors

    • Metabolic syndrome interventions are intended to reduce the effects of the underlying risk factors that contribute to a person's condition. Risk factors that accompany this condition are age, weight and a family history of diabetes. The likelihood of developing metabolic syndrome increases with age, as bodily processes begin to break down and become less efficient. Individuals who carry a body mass index of 25 percent or more--as is the case in obesity--are at increased risk, as excess fat reserves predispose the body to metabolic imbalances. A persons with a family history that includes type 2 diabetes or women who develop gestational diabetes when pregnant also carry an increased risk.

    Diet

    • In many cases, a person's dietary intake plays a substantial role in creating metabolic imbalances in the body. A modified diet regimen is an intervention that works to reduce the effects of underlying risk factors. Diets low in saturated fats can help to bring high blood cholesterol levels down, as well as reduce the triglyceride levels that contribute to excess fat reserves on the body. Heart healthy foods like grains, beans, fruits and vegetables also help to reduce cholesterol levels and provide essential nutrients needed for healthy body metabolism processes. Low-salt diets are also recommended, especially in cases where high blood pressure is an issue.

    Lifestyle Changes

    • Interventions that work to improve the body's metabolism processes may also involve certain lifestyle choices or habits. Individuals who smoke place an added strain on the body's metabolic balance. Eliminating nicotine from the body can work to reduce blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels and allow the heart to receive needed oxygen supplies. Metabolic processes are also improved when exercise routines become a part of a person's daily schedule. Exercise helps to strengthen bone and muscle structures and reduce weight levels and blood pressure readings.

    Medication Treatments

    • In cases where diet and lifestyle changes do little to reduce the effects of risk factors, medications may be needed to restore the body's metabolic balance. Medication interventions are targeted towards the conditions that contribute to metabolic syndrome. Individuals with high cholesterol may be prescribed statins or fibrate medications to help lower these levels. Medications used to treat high blood pressure include diuretics and angiotensin-converting enzymes. Individuals who are at a high risk for heart disease may be prescribed aspirin to help prevent blood clotting within the arteries.

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  • Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Sergio

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